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No signs of slowdown for Cape call centre market

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Cape Town’s business process outsourcing (BPO) sector is set for further expansion, as international clients set up their local presence in the Western Cape’s capital city.

Alderman James Vos, mayoral committee member for economic opportunities and asset management, says global BPO firm Teleperformance will later this month open a second workplace in Observatory, Cape Town.

In addition, Scottish firm Ascensos will officially launch its new office later this month.

Vos revealed this following his visit to Teleperformance’s current Observatory location, which has 1 500 staff servicing four clients from the UK.

By the end of the year, this will expand to 2 500 employees managing client companies in the UK and the US, he says.

“Together with domestic-facing clients, more than 70 000 people now work in the sector in Cape Town. Last year, the international BPO market in Cape Town contributed around R14 billion to the metro’s economy.”

South Africa has fast become one of the most favoured locations internationally for BPO companies, with the sector targeting 500 000 new jobs by 2030, based on industry estimates.

In Cape Town, the provincial government has earmarked the sector, which is also referred to as the call centre sector, as a priority industry to boost the local economy and extend job opportunities to more Capetonians.

In March, outsourcing specialist Sigma launched its first contact centre in the Cape Town township of Mitchells Plain, making it the first global business services operation in the Western Cape to provide contact centre solutions from a township.

Vos states that Cape Town and the Western Cape continue to be the most sought-after locations for offshore customer experience (CX) delivery in the country, improving its market share to 65% of all delivery in SA in the past year.

“This rapid expansion of business in Cape Town’s call centre market is a testament to the city’s investment in skills development and job placements in its high-growth industries.

“To date, almost 1 500 unemployed and previously disadvantaged individuals have been trained for call centres and each one of them has been offered permanent employment upon successful completion of their training.

“These newly upskilled Capetonians now work across call centres in and around the metro,” he concludes.

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